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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

TR All-Stars Program creates leaders, teaches valuable skills

Coordinator Lionel Bailey lectures to All-Star students during a weekly meeting on TR. Photos by Giovanni Rebosio/The Collegian

By Ashley Johnson/reporter

TR’s All-Stars, a leadership program, gives participants the upper hand for future jobs and academic pursuits.

Coordinator Lionel Bailey said the All-Stars program started in fall 2010 and teaches students basic leadership skills and values they can use well beyond their college careers.

Coordinator Lionel Bailey lectures to All-Star students during a weekly meeting on TR.
Photos by Giovanni Rebosio/The Collegian

“Education is not just books. It’s exposure,” he said. “So the leadership development program exposes students to things outside the classroom that will enhance their educational experience far beyond what they could’ve gotten in the classroom.”

The program started out with a group of students who had been identified by campus administrators and were being trained on service leadership, he said.

“When I first got here in the spring of 2010, I took the program and began to make some changes, making it more sustainable to address students’ needs but to also challenge students to look at leadership from a different perspective,” he said. “When I got here, there was no curriculum, there was no schedule. I began to sort of build a structure around the program, which is what it is at this moment.”

Each fall, 20 new students are selected to participate in the yearlong program. The students are divided into three groups focusing on campus leadership, college readiness and service leadership.

Students in the program are required to meet every Friday and have ongoing projects to facilitate throughout the year. Bailey said the entire process can be strenuous and time-consuming, and some are unable to complete the program.

“They have weekly journal assignments and weekly leadership workshops,” he said. “They have volunteer community service projects they have to plan, implement and fund. They not only have to plan a project, but they have to know what the benefit and outcomes of the project will be for the community and or neighborhood they’re working with. That’s a detailed process.”

TR nursing student Henrich Schander is a member of the All-Stars program, an officer for Phi Theta Kappa and a peer tutor in the discovery center for student success. His All-Stars group was in charge of campus leadership and worked for more than three months to raise $2,000 for the Tarrant Literacy Coalition.

He said it was a challenge to stay in the All-Stars program and still maintain his many other roles.

“For the second semester, it was harder because I started the nursing program, and I had to use a lot of time management,” he said. “You need a lot of endurance and persistency in that program [the All-Stars].”

Bailey said students shouldn’t just aim for a 4.0 GPA because those who learn to effectively juggle academics and extracurricular activities tend to do better as their college careers progress. Students in the All-Stars program attend various workshops throughout the year to help them find that balance.

“I have students in my program who have been accepted to Ivy League schools,” he said. “There are students in my program who are on the dean’s list constantly. I have students in my program who are working full time while they are on the dean’s list. The students that get into Harvard, Yale, Oxford and TCU [Texas Christian University] are students that know how to put in the academic work, but they also know the importance of extracurricular activities.”

An Nguyen, a student from Vietnam who is in the All-Stars program, recently received a full scholarship to TCU.

Nguyen’s group focused on service leadership and facilitated a workshop in the Butler housing community to teach people how to put together résumés and how to conduct themselves in interviews.

“We wished we could do more workshops like that,” she said. “On that project, we did a survey, and 100 percent of the people that attended our workshop said that was their first time they attended a workshop like that. It’s really shocking statistics that we had. There were a lot of people that set up their very first email on that day.”

Upon completing one full academic year in the All-Stars program, students will have generated a leadership portfolio, which includes personal letters of recommendation from the campus president and campus administrators, Bailey said. Students will also receive a continuing education certificate in leadership development and up to $500 in scholarship funds.

Students interested in joining the program can apply at the center for leadership development on TR Campus from mid-May to mid-July, or they can apply through email, he said.

Anyone enrolled in the TCC district can apply, but preference is given to TR students. The application process includes a 350-word essay with preselected questions, and students must have at least a 2.7 GPA to apply. Once the application is finished, Bailey said students will be selected to go through an interview process with a group of administrators.

“The interview process is really cool,” he said. “It’s a group interview and individual. It’s interactive. There are games in the interview process, and the whole idea of that is to try and gauge the students’ interaction with others.”

After the interview process, students who are accepted to the All-Stars program will be notified by official letters or email, Bailey said. They will then go through a two-day training camp to officially become an All-Star.

Nguyen has only been in the United States for three years, and she said the program taught her how to better communicate with others.

“Before attending the All-Stars, I was kind of shy, and I didn’t make friends a lot,” she said. “But with the All-Stars, it motivated me to be involved. It really changed me gradually throughout the year. I can see that I am a different person from the last year.”


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